Yes! My essay on hiking is published in a book. I can see my name in a list of contributors, can see my bio at the end of the book. My essay takes 4 pages among the last chapters.


Nothing could have been better.

How Did I get here?

I follow Zee Southcombe on Twitter. A couple of months ago she asked me if I would like to be a contributor in her new book. Of course I had to say yes.

However, writing the piece wasn’t easy. I had no inspiration, no recent hikes’ memories to pull apart & prod to see how what hiking felt like. I had to go for a good hike to write this. I had a month to to write a 1000 page piece and an urgency to write it but no feelings behind it.

It had to be perfect, I kept telling myself. It had to be, because it would be the first time my name would be in a book. I have been published in a research journal and I have written ~250 posts on the web but this one is special. It had to be perfect.

On Anzac day, 25th April, I went for another hike. Rangitoto Island formed my association with Got To Get Out group and I took that night slowly going over the entire hike. What I liked, what I didn’t and which instances opened the memory banks in my head. My old hikes were fresh again and I finished the piece.

Following Months:

I know a few writers who proofread it and encouraged me. They were really happy about it and Zee loved it too!

Yes, there were grammar mistakes, lots of them ( Feel free to point them out in the comments ). But that doesn’t matter anymore cause my piece is in the book. I can say I am published now.

I received the book last night and I haven’t really gotten over my joy to read other pieces or even look at other contributors’ bios. Next Sunday, October 15th, the book’s launch takes place in Auckland city Library. I do plan on reading a small sample from my piece. Not a lot of people know that my piece got published. A few friends. My family doesn’t know either, I kept it from them as a surprise.

Lastly, thank you Zee for the opportunity. I am so excited about the launch!

Book Launch Event:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fiction: Characters in Bookworld?

Credits: Buzzfeed Books, FB


(I saw this on Facebook and I had to write on this!)

John could see the train coming in the tunnel, the beacon becoming brighter. Newmarket train Station in Auckland was extremely crowded. Considering the station had every line passing through it, it meant it was as important as Britomart Transport Centre. However, John had this stinking feeling that he had been here before even though he had never.

He had seen the train on different stations before too, he could guess he had seen the train driver before. The station masters in their yellow high visibility jacket were standing at the yellow line of the platform to ensure that no one crosses it as the train was almost at the station, a few seconds away. The girl next to him was playing Candy Crush on her iPhone, and his feeling intensified. He had seen that girl before, he just couldn’t recall when. He frowned, trying to remember when had he seen a scene which was so similar, the train light shining down the tunnel, the girl and the people. The loudspeakers boomed saying “Train for Swanson is arriving on platform 1, please stand behind the yellow line”

The wind blew across the station and someone lose their purple scarf. That purple scarf, he thought as it kept flowing and slammed into his face. He knew now, all of this had happened before. He had been here on the station before, seen the Candy Crush playing girl before right here and that scarf had hit him in his face before. Everything had happened before, only it really hadn’t. How? Why?

The train whoozed past him, slowing down and stopped, the door right in front of him. People pressed the green button to open the doors. He just stood there, the purple scarf had tied itself to his neck now and there was someone in his periphery. Another girl, no not a girl this time but an old woman. He realised that the scarf belonged to the woman and he apologised. Untying the scarf he handed it to her and smiled, the old woman smiled back. This was new. He could recollect some of the things which had happened last time. But last time? It was his first time here on the station wasn’t it?

He was no longer sure. He was sure that the previously he entered the train. After that what happened he was not sure. He had an interview to get to but he was too lost in his thoughts. The Candy Crush girl stood near the now opened door, the old woman was making her way to the reserved seats. He knew he had got in the train the last time.

This time, he didn’t want to. So he didn’t and slowly the train doors closed with a beeping sound signalling closing doors. He had just wasted his ticket but he didn’t care. He had a strange feeling that this was bigger than any other job waiting for him.

He knew that his story was written differently. Now it has started fresh.

To Dale Carnegie and his book ‘How to win friends and influence people’

When I was in school, I remember reading about Dale Carnegie’s book ‘How to make Friends & Influence People.’ Back then I was a weird kid; I still am weird guy. I could never fit in amongst people; I did not have any friends so naturally I wanted to read it.

When I eventually got my hands in the book, I read it slowly, methodically, trying to soak in everything in the book. I read the companion piece and I read the book again. Now, five years after reading the book, sometimes I glance through it. I try to remember the lessons and techniques the book taught me. I try to perceive solutions of perplexing issues or people I encounter. However, today I understood it does not talk about a certain kind of people: assholes

What Dale Carnegie and his ’How to win friends and influence people’ made me believe?

It made me believe that the world is full of people like me. People who are often misunderstood, they are grumpy and they are now laconic. I genuinely thought that the book made everything simpler. Like a proper recipe, the book opened a new doorway for me: socialism.

Simple: Just a bunch of techniques to follow.

In addition, ‘How to win friends and influence people’ author Dale Carnegie always said that to make the techniques work, you need to be interested in the other person. Feigning interest will not work. Even then, I was interested in finding out what is happening in the other person’s life.

I wanted to know the other person.

What the ‘How to win friends and influence people’ didn’t tell me

I don’t think Dale Carnegie deliberately forgot to talk about this. He must have never come across the same assholes I have so far encountered. Maybe if he did then the book would be aptly named ‘How to win friends and influence people while staying away from assholes.’ Regardless, the techniques are not a boon with such people. They were a curse because when I got to know such people, I hated them.

Its equivalent to finding out your best friend is a criminal.

Mostly, it is their thinking that makes me nauseous. I don’t want to know about the assholes’ ‘exploits’. Neither do I want to know how did you cheat your way through your life. It is unnerving to find out that the person who I think is a great friend actually has such low opinion of everything that I value.

Before I read ‘How to win friends and influence people’ I felt the hurt of loneliness. Now, I feel a longing for that loneliness that I tried to claw my way out of. The people I tried to befriend are now the people who I should never be near to.

Dale Carnegie forgot to talk about making the wrong friends. He forgot to tell me that not ever grumpy person is like me, lonely and awkward. He forgot to tell me that grumpy person is actually someone who I should avoid.

Concluding, I’m glad I read ‘How to win friends and influence people’

Dale Carnegie may have written a novel which is no longer applicable for the current generation. But he gave me a chance to change and finally get out of hole I dug for myself. I made more mistakes than wrong friends along the way. These mistakes hurt and haunt me, but the friends that remain make me forget about it.